Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Confessions, a Train Ride Home

I have  been thinking about writing, and how I am not.

There is a part of me that wants to blame medication, even though I stopped writing before the medication ever came into play. This is not unfair as it has shifted the way I think and feel. The heart does not howl any more, or, I have forgotten how to listen to it. I think this silencing has in turn silenced my need to write, to capture and tame my storms with mere words, precise words. And this should not be a problem, but it is very close, only a step away from, having nothing to say.

Which is not true, cannot be true, yet is very true.

If the need to express a voice does not come from within, then, given all the noise being forced into the world already, how can I possibly justify adding to it? If I have nothing that I need to say, then output must be because there is something I believe others need to hear. The audacity and arrogance aren't mine, not comfortably, to assume I have the authority to decide this. Even though I may choose the platform so that the choice to consume lies with the reader - no. There is already too much noise out there. There is nothing I can say that has not already been said.

There is no requirement for need in the writing of fiction. Need in the writer's voice can lend power to a story, but it is not required. I could write simply because I want to. But when the power of need has fuelled you for so long, action by want seems pale and trivial by comparison.

All that occurred in my life was for writing. All the learning and heartache and new experiences; all grist for the mill. It would all out in the stories one day. But now I don't need to cast my trials in such a light in order to make them palatable enough to see through, my lover stands by me throughout all fire and flood. It is enough to simply spend my days with him. But is it? Is a life that is enjoyed but to no end of any purpose? Writing was a purpose I gave my life in order to keep my life. Now that I am in no such danger, the purpose is no longer required, and yet to simply live is not enough, would be such selfish and wasted time.

I have already lost so much time. To waste more will lead only to self-disgust. Still, I cannot underestimate fear and the scars left by physical pain and emotional anguish that come into play. I lost my future, one I did not even know I projected upon myself, and so all I have and had done became untethered. Echoes of this singular horror I've heard from those struggling with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. It is not for me to self-diagnose, but it would be remiss of me to overlook this one and only echo.

To confront my identity as a writer, to consider reviving it, is to also risk the possibility of losing it again. Hope is such an awful creature. I had to give her away. She cost me too much. To survive I had to give her away. I had to.

Even from now, this place of strength, I can't dip into this subject matter without feeling it in my nerves and knowing that I will never be strong enough to survive the loss of my identity again.

There most probably lies the heart of the matter. Not all the medication and emotional well-being in the world will help me finish a story if I am afraid.

And I am so very afraid.

5 comments:

compaƱero said...

totally random, thought of you back at home, and recommend. hopefully does not draw disdain, but might:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVXPC-sufkI

Ben Payne said...

*loves*

I identify with much of this post. And there's something to be said for leaving a place of need and finding a place of happiness and comfort. And not everybody needs to be a writer.

That said, if it's fear of hope that stops you, that's less good. I hope you find a way to hope again, even if it's a different kind of hope. And if you need support for hoping, don't be afraid to lean...

Tessa said...

I have to admit, the prologue of that Bourdain made me cringe significantly. The shrimp on the barbie business was from the 80s. We've moved on since then, I'd assume the rest of the world has too.

Ben, thank you, very much. I really don't know what I want, which is not something I've ever had to deal with in my life. Not a fan, to say the least.

Anonymous said...

Bert still needs an origin story,

Wordsmiff said...

Depression and anxiety are bastards. I've learned the hard way to fight them and laugh at them, sometimes through tears. Hang in there Tessa, thinking of you.